January wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be all into eating clean, staying on top of my work and if you ask the huz, cutting back on all that I commit to. That was the plan anyway, and then life happened.
So much needs to happen this week. I’m feeling quite anxious about it all. There was only so much I could do last week when my daughter was still on Christmas break. I continued to stuff my face like it was perpetually Christmas Day. And the weather sucked, so I didn’t get any outdoor exercise in. Pretty much everything is off with me right now, but I have to get back on track this week in a major way.
Before Friday I have to get all this done:
- Renew passports (This should’ve happened before Xmas but didn’t)
- Get blood work (Ditto)
- See a specialist doctor type
- Go to Banff for an overnight work event (translation: half day killed)
- Interview an oncologist
- Find another interview source (anybody know a licensed psychologist?)
- Submit four articles
- Write two features (long articles) both due next Monday
- Research and write a three-pager for a corporate client
- Send a bang up pitch to a new editor
- Run around town and pick up supplies for my daughter’s birthday
- Execute kiddo’s B-day party on Thursday
- Take down the Christmas decorations before B-day
- Clean house before party (Suspecting there is zero chance of this happening.)
Naturally my husband is gone until Wednesday night, which means I’m on deck for every kid pick up, drop-off and all the other stuff that goes with parenting. Eve is actually super easy to manage, it’s the dog that does us in. Buddy demands to be walked three to four times a day. It all adds up to a lot – at least it seems that way to me.
What to do when stressed
I find myself in this kind of predicament a few times a year. I know I’ll survive, but I certainly don’t look forward it. Here’s what I do when I feel myself treading water.
Prioritize: A lot of anxiety comes from the anticipation of the event, not the event itself. In my case, I’m often swirling about the number of articles I have due. But here’s the thing, as a writer, I always have deadlines. That’s never going away. It helps when I do a data dump and list everything that’s due. Then I prioritize. It’s rare to have multiple articles due the same day. When everything’s all plotted in front of me, I often realizing I have more space than I originally thought.
Do what you can when you can: I bring my laptop with me everywhere. You can always bang out a few things in that five minute space before spin class starts. (I’m writing this in the change room right now!) I work in the car, while waiting at the doctor’s office, while my chatty hairdresser trims my hair. The point is, you can chip away at things in small pockets of time.
Wake up early: This just happens when I’m stressed. Often, I wake up a full hour before my alarm during crunch time. When the huz is away for work, I keep my laptop under my bed, so I can pull it out and get stuff off my head when the moment strikes.
Cut time wasters: There will be no Netflix this week. No plucking of eye brows, no coffee meetings and certainly no Facebook trolling. That can happen next week when things are more under control.
Exercise: You wanna ditch this because you’re too busy and stressed, but you can’t. I know, it totally sucks to blow two hours in the middle of the day getting to your gym, parking, doing the class and showering, but do it anyway. A good sweat helps clear your mind and allows you to focus better afterwards.
Eat clean: As this one is also annoying and time consuming, I think we’re allowed to buy ourselves out of this predicament. You aren’t going to give your best work if you’re crashing on caffeine and sugar all day. You need stable energy, so make a point to get all your veg and lean proteins in. Roasting is super fast and healthy. When ordering in, I limit it to healthier options like sushi and Vietnamese pho.
Try holy basil: This popular Indian herb is the bomb. It’s touted to counteract the effects of stress. I feel chill within minutes of pooping a capsul. Suddenly my breath isn’t so shallow and I’m able to calmly get on despite storms brewing. Obvs, I’m no medical doctor so consult your own before adding this to your vitamin regimen. Read this for more info.
What are your suggestions for managing stress? I’ll take any and all advice.